The L.U.C Lunar One by Chopard was first presented in 2005 in gold-cased versions. This year, 2017, a new limited-edition version in platinum has been presented. A perpetual calendar with astronomical moon phase display, it is one of the watches at the top of the Chopard L.U.C range and has a platinum case. The new model has an on-trend blue-coloured dial and a blue alligator strap.
An exacting complication
The perpetual calendar is an exacting complication because the watch becomes a mechanical computer, capable of keeping track of the changing length of the months over the course of the year, and the four-year cycle for leap years. The L.U.C Lunar One has jumping calendar indications, so that the date and day indications change instantaneously at midnight, and likewise the month, and year. So the amount of power absorbed by the movement changes from the normal situation during the day to a sudden peak of energy required at midnight. In addition, there have to be protective devices to avoid damage to the movement in case of attempting to change the date at the moment that the watch is in the process of changing the calendar indications.
Dial for maximum legibility
This piece is a practical and legible watch, with space for subdials maximised for clarity. The big date highlights the piece of information that the user genuinely needs every day. Each of the subdials provides two readings. On the left, day of the week, and a day-night indicator useful when setting the watch. On the right, months, and year within the four-year leap year cycle. At 6 o’clock, continuous seconds, and an orbital moon phase. The circular aperture revolves as the moon phase changes, along with the starry background that includes a few northern hemisphere constellations such as the Great Bear. The display, which makes a complete rotation every 29.5 days, therefore provides a suggestion of the moon’s actual movement through the night sky as it orbits the earth. Chopard’s moon phase indicator is precise to one day every 122 years. The Roman hour numerals have been sacrificed, cut away to make room for the subdials. The sunray brushing on the dial radiates from the L.U. Chopard logo at the top. Chopard’s design style creates watches with a sense of reassuring strength, reliability and resilience, and this piece is the perfect example.
43 mm case
The case is fairly large at 43 mm and relatively slim at 11.47 mm. It is in platinum, with contrasting finish, polished bezel and caseback, and has a vertically-brushed caseband. The recessed pushers for adjusting the calendar indications are distributed around the caseband. Water resistance is 50 metres. The watch has a matt blue alligator leather strap with brown alligator leather inner lining, and a platinum pin buckle.
Calibre 96.13-L movement
The L.U.C Lunar One is powered by the Calibre 96.13-L movement, which is self-winding, with a micro-rotor in gold. The movement is finely finished, and it has two certifications: COSC, for precision, and the quality mark Poinçon de Genève. It has 355 components, 32 jewels, it runs at 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz), and has a 65-hour power reserve. This is provided by the two L.U.C Twin Technology stacked barrels. The movement descends from the L.U.C 1.96, the brand’s first in-house movement that already incorporated a lot of technology, with two barrels and 65 hours power reserve.
Price and reference
The L.U.C Lunar One by Chopard is reference 161927-9001, a 100-piece limited edition. Price is €66,890, 67,900 Swiss francs. This compares to the price of €55,690 for the Lunar One in white gold. Read more on the Chopard website.